An unquestioning defence of police budgets makes it harder to address the many real social challenges that currently receive an inadequate criminal justice response, argues Richard Garside
alternatives to policing
Writing today in The Guardian, Polly Toynbee considers the pressures faced by police following cuts to social and health budgets. She highlights shrinking police numbers and bemoans the loss of neighbourhood police and poses the following question:
Police officers could become less visible on the streets because police forces aren't managing their budgets properly in the face of funding cuts, warns a report by Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary, covered in The Telegraph.
The report says:
Policing in five years' time is likely to look different to now: smaller, less costly and perhaps less visible.
Sir Peter Fahy, Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police has called for 'a new approach' in responding to vulnerable and missing teenagers. He emphasised the need to protect children, but questioned whether the police are best placed to do this, reports BBC News.
Speaking to BBC News at Ten, he raised the question of whether we need more social workers and fewer police officers. He said:
Despite claims of its potential to protect us from serious crime, we run risks if we get hooked on mass GPS tracking, argues Catherine Heard
On 22 October the Centre held an event which aimed to stimulate debate about alternatives to policing in Britain. Professor Tim Hope of the University of Salford, and Dr Waqas Tufail of the University of Liverpool, led the discussion by introducing papers outlining which functions the police carry out poorly.
Tim Hope calls for the abolition of the police service and establishment of a civil harm-response unit.
Joanna Gilmore and Waqas Tufail of the Northern Police Monitoring Project explain how individuals, groups and communities can collectively challenge corrupt policing practices and monitor instances of police violence and harassment.